Part 10 Viral Marketing: Use an RSS Feed

Another way to build returning traffic to your site is to provide an RSS

feed. In its current form, RSS stand for “Really Simple Syndication”.

RSS allows someone to place a link on their homepage, website, or

RSS reader that sends an update every time you update the

information on your site.

 

This is especially popular with news sites and blogs. If you are posting

to your blog every week day, your readers will get an update 5 times a

week.

 

That means 5 times a week they will be reminded of your name

and your website. This can really work to your advantage because they

are getting that reminder because they asked to be reminded, not

because you are forcing yourself on them.

 

Every day they have a chance to read your message, and have the

opportunity to visit the main part of your site. The more traffic that

comes to your site on a regular basis, the more sales and advertising

revenue you can generate.

 

Another way to use RSS feeds is to bring news or information about

your niche that will add value to your site. By putting fresh, up to date

information on your websites main page, you give visitors a reason to

come back to your site on a continuing basis. If they are interested in

your topic, the will return to your site to get updates.

 

Both uses of RSS are designed to keep your customers coming back.

The more often they come back and get new, useful, or entertaining

material, the more likely they are of spreading the word to their

friends and family, and that is the first step of going viral.


Part 9 Viral Marketing: Use Social Bookmark Sites

Something that has really flourished in recent years is the popularity of

social bookmark sites like Digg, Stumble Upon, and del.ico.us. These

sites allow users to search, set bookmarks, organize, read, and rate

anything on the internet.

 

If something you have written is posted to

one of these sites, other readers get a chance to vote on whether or

not they like it. If someone thinks it is good, and worth sharing, they

can vote for it. The more people vote for it, the higher up in the

rankings it moves.

 

The higher it goes, more people see it. The more

people see it, the more opportunities there are for someone else to

vote on it, which helps it to rank even higher.

 

The good part for you is, even if a reader doesn’t vote on your article,

they still might go to your site to see if there is anything else there

that they might like.

 

One important thing to note is, these social bookmark sites do not like

you to vote for your own articles. In fact, if you do vote for your own,

it could cause it to move lower in the rankings. You have to have

something that other people find interesting enough that they feel

compelled to vote for it.

 

These sites attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every day. If you

are fortunate enough to have your message ranked toward the top on

one or more of these sites for even one day, the flood of traffic to your

site could be tremendous.


Part 8 Viral Marketing: Start a Blog!

Of all the techniques we have listed, blogging is the most work to keep up with.

It is also probably the slowest growing method on the list. In order for one of your blog posts to go viral, people have to know your blog exists.

With so many quality blogs already in existence, it may take some time to get your blog noticed.

It requires persistence.

Before you decide to begin blogging, make sure you are interested enough in the topic to write about it on an almost daily basis.

For a blog to be effective, you need to post at least 3 – 5 articles a week.

While the posts do not need to be long, they should at least contain the elements that any technique needs to go viral; a unique point of view on a subject, informational, entertaining, and fresh. Not only do you need to be consistent in posting new information, you also need to work at marketing your blog.

There are several easy ways to start getting other people to pay attention to your blog.

Start by finding other popular blogs that cover a similar subject as you cover. Leave insightful comments on their blog. When you leave a comment, you can include a link back to your own site. If some reads your comment and like what you have to say, they may head over to your site to see what else you have to offer. If the blog you leave a comment on is very popular, this could drive a fair amount of traffic to your site.

Another method of getting your blog noticed is to write a post on your blog commenting on something you read on someone else‟s blog. You add a link in your post pointing back to the blog you mentioned. In blog language this is referred to as a “trackback”. When you put the URL of the other blog in the trackback section of your blogging program it sends a message to the blog you are linking to informing them that you mentioned them in your blog.

They come and read what you said, and if they like it, they may write something on their blog about your post.

Their viewers can also click the link, which will drive traffic to your blog.

It is very easy to get started blogging if that is an area you are interested in. There are several good online blog services that will allow you to set up a blog for free. Some of these services, like Blogger.com, even allow you to set up AdSense advertising on your blog, which will let you earn a little extra income with your blog.

If you would rather have the blog located as part of your own website, programs like WordPress are very easy to set up and use. The best part is, it is free to use. If you write good blog posts, and can effectively market your blog, your readership will grow.

The more readers you have, the greater the chances of one of your posts going viral.

The key to success is quality material that is fresh, and holds the readers attention. You can not get away with recycling what you read on someone else‟s blog. When visitors come to your blog, make sure you give them a compelling reason to go to the main part of your site to look around.

If your blog becomes popular, this method could drive a flood of traffic to your site that will continue on an almost daily basis.


Part 7 Viral Marketing: Create a Brandable E-Book

Have you noticed the number of sites that offer free e-books to subscribers?

Give your email address, click the link and you have instant access to an eBook full of useful information.

The reason so many sites use this method of advertising is because it works, and here is how you can make it work for you.

Write a short eBook on a topic that relates to your business. In that book you include a little information about your business, and at a couple of key places include a link that will drive traffic from the book to your website.

Now post it on your website and let anyone interested download a free copy.

However, it does not stop there.

Encourage anyone who likes your eBook to offer it as a free gift on their website as well. If the information is useful, and the book is well written, the number of websites that are offering your book will begin to grow, Soon 50 or 100, or even 1,000 other sites will be helping you spread the word about your business.

A successful campaign with timely information could keep driving traffic to your site for months or years to come. Be careful not to overdo the information about yourself, or include too many links back to your site.

The more about yourself you include, the less likely others will be willing to give your book away for you. Another advantage of having your eBook before thousands of people‟s eyes is it establishes your credibility.

People give more credence to a published “expert” than they do to someone who has not written a book, even if the book is very short. You begin to build name recognition, and when people see your name associated with something in the future, they will be more likely to check it out. Internet marketer David Meerman Scott used this successfully when he released an eBook titled The New Rules of PR.

He posted a link to the book on his blog, and sent link by email to friends and colleagues. Within 3 days his eBook had been downloaded over 1,000 times. At that point it caught the attention of a couple of internet marketing gurus who talked about it on their own blogs. In the 3 days following those blogs Scott‟s eBook had been downloaded over 15,000 times. To date, the eBook has been downloaded over 60,000 times, and it has resulted in a continuing flow of traffic, and several speaking arrangements. He is now considered an expert in the field of internet marketing, largely because of his eBook.

Do a search for eBook compilers to find a program to create your eBook, or find a program that will allow you to save a document as a PDF. Whichever program you decide to use, make sure it allows you to include active, clickable links.

If the person reading the eBook has to copy and paste the link into a browser, many of them will not. Make it as easy as possible for them to get to your site.

Also, make sure the program you use will not let anyone change the information in your eBook. There are less than honest people who will remove references to you and the links to your site, and include their own information into your eBook.

Many programs will allow you to safeguard your information, so take advantage of them.

PDFBrandable is a good piece of software that allows you to create brandable eBooks.

Or you could just hop on to fiverr.com and get a designer create one for you as a one off cost.


Part 6 Viral Marketing: Request a Referral!

You've obviously heard of YouTube?

If you spend any time online, it is hard not to have heard of it.

Millions of people every day view video clips that are stored in the YouTube library. YouTube and Google Videos take advantage of the fact that people are now spending more time in recreational internet surfing than in watching television.

It is another example of not only how people want to be entertained, but also that 21 people want choices. The public has gotten used to being able to choose the entertainment they want, and not be forced to take what is pushed at them.

If you are creative enough, or cutting edge, or wacky enough, you could quickly be the next hot video.

The videos that have the most chance of going viral are ones that deal with current events, especially if you can beat the major news outlets, videos dealing with business issues, and humorous videos. Steven Colbert was a great example of this when clips of his Comedy Central show,

The Colbert Report, were released on YouTube. Despite the objections of the Comedy Central network, when the show was still new, Colbert allowed clips from his show to be posted on YouTube. Within a short period of time his clips went viral, and viewership of The Colbert Report soared.

If you decide this is a method you want to use, make sure you have a fresh idea, and not a rehash of something that has already made the rounds. You don‟t need network quality equipment to produce a decent video.

While you do want decent quality production, the biggest key is great content.

Make your video, and at the end of the clip place a 3 – 5 second promotional slide with the URL for your website so viewers can look for more useful information.

Make sure the landing page you send them to matches the tone of the video.

If the video you use is quirky and humorous, and the landing page is serious and all business, your 22 visitors will only stay for a few seconds before leaving for more entertaining sites.

Once your video is produced, and looks the way you want it to, upload your video onto YouTube and Google Videos.

These sites offer services that allow website owners and users of social network sites like MySpace to place video viewers on their site.

If your video goes viral, not only will potential customers be able to see your video on the host site, but also on all of the personal sites that pick it up. The amount of traffic that could flood to your site is huge.